How Much do Pet Mice Sleep? 5 Things You Should Know

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This will probably surprise you, but mice are not as active as you might think. They actually sleep 14 to 16 hours a day, much more than us humans. If you want to buy some mice for your kids, then we are here to tell you that they won’t be able to play with them as much.

Mice do sleep a lot and on top of that, they are nocturnal animals. Most of their activity happens at night, not during the day. We would rather recommend mice for those people who work in the day and stay up late at night.

Mice are considered low-maintenance pets and the fact that they are nocturnal indeed leaves you with not much to do as the owner. Since they sleep during the day, they need a quiet and comfortable environment where no one bothers them.

Why do Mice Sleep so Much?

There is a great explanation for this called Kleiber’s law. This law suggests that the smaller the animal, the more energy it consumes over time according to its own size. For example, let’s say that a cat is exactly 100 times heavier than a mouse.

In this case, the most straightforward answer would be that cats consume 100 times more energy than mice, right? Wrong! It turns out that there is an exact ratio to it. Even though cats are 100 times heavier, they consume only 32 times more energy.

This law applies to every mammal in the World, allowing you to compare them just by knowing their body mass. Therefore, the smaller an animal is, the more energy it consumes every day according to its own size. It costs a lot more energetically to be small than to be large.

This is why mice sleep a lot, they are simply wasting too much of their energy while awake and need to rest more.

When do Mice Sleep – at Day or Night?

Mice are nocturnal animals thus they sleep during the day and stay awake at night. They are also really active at night, which is why it’s not the best idea to keep them in the bedroom. Unless you want to hear how your little pets party all night long!

It is best to keep your mice at a spot where there is often someone to interact with. They don’t want to be alone either, they just want to sleep well, just like you.

Do Pet Mice Need Light at Night?

Mice are nocturnal and they don’t need light during the night at all. In fact, it has a negative effect on their metabolism to be exposed to light at night. Like us humans, mice also have their own daily routines. Switching the light on during the night would only cause them to eat when they don’t even need to.

Being exposed to light won’t do any good for them. It will probably even cause them to try to hide from the light because it is so unnatural for them. Mice have circadian rhythms too, which can also be called clock genes. It is really important not to keep the lights on all the time.

In case the light is constantly on, your mouse will eventually become sluggish and their learning skills are going to deteriorate. Being constantly exposed to light simply hampers their ability to function normally. The way their eyes have developed allows mice to see in the dark pretty well.

Even dim light during the night can disturb the circadian rhythm of a mouse.

How Much do Baby Mice Sleep?

In general, the older the mouse, the more time it will spend sleeping. This pattern is unusual to us humans because we sleep less as we get older. It is not easy to tell whether a baby mouse is sleeping or not either. Their eyes open only after approximately 13 days and that is also when they develop thicker fur.

There are huge differences in the distribution of sleep-wake states when you take a look at 3 months old and 12 months old mice. The older ones always sleep more. This is probably good news for those who want to keep mouse babies. They will be more active throughout the day than the older ones.

Why is Your Pet Mouse Not Sleeping?

One of the reasons why a pet mouse is not sleeping is because he is exposed to bright light during nighttime. Other reasons include keeping other pets in the house that can get near the cage and noisy environments. You need to keep your mouse at a spot where no one disturbs him when it’s time to sleep.

Usually, when mice have health problems, they sleep a lot and only get up to eat something. Then they go back to sleep again. They also sleep in unusual positions and look tired all the time when they wake up. If your mouse doesn’t sleep, it is probably because the environment too bright, too noisy.

Or it might be the case that someone or something is bothering them or annoying them throughout the day. Make sure that the cage of your mouse is as calm and comfortable as possible and keep the lights off during the night.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, the sleeping habits of mice are rather simple, yet still completely different from ours. They mainly sleep during the day and also sleep a lot more than us, humans.

In general, smaller animals sleep more and bigger ones sleep less. The smaller the animal is, the more energy it has to consume according to its own size.

Therefore, they have to be in stand-by mode a lot in order to consume less energy. Unfortunately, you or your kids won’t be able to play with your mice as much during the day. However, this doesn’t make the mouse less of an attractive pet to keep at home.

They are easy to take care of and will bring plenty of enjoyable moments into your life. Mice are intelligent as well and have many interesting behavioral patterns.

avatar I’m Peter King, writer and editor of this blog. I’m a lifelong animal advocate and volunteer at the Animal Rescue League. On this blog I help people learn about pet mice. As a responsible pet owner, you should learn about your pet’s need before getting it. If you have any question or need help, please leave your comment below.

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